« 前へ次へ »
At twelve o'clock, the question was put, when there appeared
24 In consequence of the foregoing resolutions, the House of Lords on
February 4.] Came to the following several counteracting resolutions, moved by Lord Effingham, who said, before he read the motion that included the whole of what he meant to propofe, he should first defire the Clerk to read the act of the 21st of George the Third, which he did as follows:
is An act for the establishing an agreement with the East India " Company for the payment of 400,000l. for the use of the public, “ in full discharge of all claims on the Company until March 1,
1781, in respect of their territorial acquisitions and revenues, &c."
Section 26. “ And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, “ That during the continuance of this Act, it shall not be lawful for “ the said United Company, or their successors, or any of their officers “s or servants on their account, to accept or otherwise bind the said “ Company, or their successors, for the payment of any bills of ex“ change, drawn by any of their officers or servants, at any of their “ Presidencies in the East Indies, for any sum exceeding the sum of " three hundred thousand pounds, exclusive of certificates, to the
amount of eight thousand pounds, to the commanders and officers “ of each of the Company's ships, in the space of one year, without on the content and order first had and obtained of the Commissioners “ of his Majesty's Treasury for the time being, or any three or more “ of them, or of the High Treasurer for the time being, who are “ hereby respectively authorised to give such consent, or to make 66 such order the reon, as they shall judge expedient; and every ac“ ceptance or engagement made contrary to the true meaning and in“ tent of this Act, shall be null and void to all intents and pure'
The noble Lord then desired that a resolution of the House of Lords in the year 1704 might be read, which was in the following words:
Resolved. " That it is unconstitutional, and contrary to law for any one branch of the Legislature to assume to itself a right of making any
“ refolutions which should impede or put a stop to the executive
power of Government as by law established." The noble Earl then desired the resolutions of the House of Commons to be read, which were as follows:
December 24, 1783.-(House of Commons.) Resolved, “ That the Commissioners of the Treasury ought not to give their “ consent to the acceptance of any Bills drawn, or to be drawn from “ India, until it shall be made appear to this House, that sufficient
means can be provided for the payment of the same, when they
respectively fall due, by a regular application of the clear effects “ of the Company, after discharging in their regular course the cus
toms, and other fums due to the public, and the current de“ mands upon the Company, or until this House Thall otherwise “ direct.”
January 16, 1784.—(House of Commons.) Resolved, “ (That it having been declared to be the opinion of this House, that, s in the present situation of his Majesty's dominions, it is peculiarly
necessary, that there should be an Administration which has the “ confidence of this House, and the public; and that the appoint“ mene of his Majesty's present Ministers were accompanied by cir“ cumstances new and extraordinary, and such as do not conciliate “ or engage the confidence of this House) the continuance of the
present Ministers, in trusts of the highest importance and responti
bility, is contrary to constitutional principles, and injurious to the “ interests of his Majesty and his people.”
Taking all these matters together, and considering the present state of affairs, Lord Effingham deemed it incumbent on their Lordships at so alarming a crisis, to address the Throne in support of the just, legal, and constitutional prerogatives of his Majesty. The King, he said, had an undoubted right to appoint his Ministers, and to continue them in office so long as he deemed their conduct right, and so long as there was no specific charge made against them by Parliament for misconduct in their public trust. The right honourable gentleman high in office, who had been of late much the subject of public conversation, and against whom all those resolutions of the Houte of Commons were levelled, stood high in the estimation of the public, and in the confidence of his Sovereign. A compliment might be paid with juf
tice to his shining abilities, and to his conduct in office; and such panegyric might be mentioned, because the right honourable gentleman was not present. [Here Mr. Pitt, who stood behind the throne, retired, and did not return until the noble Earl had finished.] His Lordship, after paying many compliments to the new First Lord of the Treasury, stated to the House, that the first resolution he should move would be,
Resolved, “ That for any one branch of the Legislature to assume to itself a right of making any resolutions which should impede, or put a
stop to the exercise of a power vested in any body of men by Act 66 of Parliament, is unconstitutional.”
If that should meet with their Lordships' approbation, he meant to move another Resolution, which was,
“ That it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution - for either House of Parliament to pass any Resolution, which may “ tend to deprive the Crown of its just prerogative in nominating its “ own servants, or to defire the removal of the executive servants of “ the Crown, when no charge of neglect or misconduct has been al“ ledged against them.”
His Lordihip said, after these motions were agreed to, he should
47 The other Resolutions were then put, and carried without a division, February 5.
On this day an Address was presented to his Majesty by the House of Lords, to the following purport :
TO THE KING, “ WE acknowledge, with great satisfaction, the wisdom of our
happy Constitution, which places in your Majesty's hands the unw doubted authority of appointing to all the great offices of executive
“ government. We have the firmest reliance in your Majesty's “ known wisdom and paternal goodness, that you will be anxious to so call into, and continue in your service, men the most deserving of " the confidence of the Parliament and the public in general.”
“ In this confidence, we beg leave to approach your Majesty with
our most earnest assurances that we will, upon all occasions, sup“ port your Majesty in the just exercise of those prerogatives which " the wisdom of the law has entrusted to your Majesty, for the pre“ servation of our lives and properties, and upon the due and unin“ terrupted exercise of which must depend the blessings which the s people derive from the best of all forms of government.
To which his Majesty returned the following answer :
My Lords, " I thank you for this dutiful and loyal address; and I desire you “ will rest assured that I have no object in the choice of Ministers, “ but to call into my service men the most deserving of the confi“ dence of my Parliament, and of the public in general.
“ I cannot too often repeat my assurances, that my constant study " in the exercise of every prerogative entrusted to me by the Consti“ tution, is to employ it for the welfare of my people."
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
ROYAL ANSWER. Lord Viscount Hinchinbrooke reported to the House, that his Majesty had been waited on with the resolution of the House on Tuesday last, and had been graciously pleased to give for answer, “ That he would take them into his consideration.'
February 16.] The House came to the following Resolutions, moved by Lord Beauchamp, and seconded by Sir Grey Cooper, which passed without a division.
“ That this House hath not assumed to itself any right to sus“ pend the execution of the law.
“ That it is constitutional and agreeable to usage, for the House " of Commons to declare their sense and opinions, respecting the “ exercise of every discretionary power, which, whether by act of “ Parliament or otherwise, is vested in any body of men whatever " for public service.
3. “ That
“ That it is a duty peculiarly incumbent upon this House, en“ trusted by the constitution with the sole and separate grant of the
public money, to watch over, and by their timely admonitions " and interference, to endeavour to prevent the rash and precipitate “ exercise of any power however vested, which may be attended with “ any danger to public credit, or with heavy losses to the revenue “ and confequently burthens upon the people.
" That the Resolution of the 24th of December last, which “ declared the sense and opinion of this House, " That the Com“ missioners of the Treasury ought not to give their consent to the acceptance
any bills drawn or to be drawn from India, until it “ Thall be made appear to this House, that sufficient means can be
provided for the payment of the fame, when they respectively fall “ due, by a regular application of the clear effects of the Company, “ after discharging in their regular course the customs and other sums “ due to the public, and the current demands upon the Company; « or until this House Thall otherwise direct,”—was constitutional, “ founded in a sense of duty towards the people of this kingdom, and “ dictated by a becoming anxiety for the preservation of the revenue " and the support of the public credit.
5. “ That if this House had, in the unsettled state of the East • India Company, which was and still is under the consideration “ of Parliament, in order to form fome provisions for the relief of “ that Company and the security of the public, neglected to pafs the “ faid refolution of the 24th of December, to guard against a new
charge, to a very considerable amount being rafhly incurred before any
means of answering it had been stated or provided ; they would “ have been justly and highly responsible to their constituents for the “ increase of those evils and difficulties which are already too severely “ felt.
6. “ That this House will, with the utmost moderation, but with “ the most decided firmness, maintain inviolably the principles of “ the constitution, and will persevere in the diligent and conscientious
discharge of the duties which they owe to their constituents, and “ to their posterity, equally solicitous to preserve their own privi
leges, and to avoid any encroachments on those of either of the “ other branches of the Legislature.”
February 18.) Mr. Pitt informed the House, “ That his Majesty, " after confidering the present situation of public affairs, had not disa